Canadian telecom companies say demand for their services has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic and will change business once the lockdown ends.

Rogers Communications Inc. told a House of Commons committee that home internet usage is up more than 50 per cent, voice call usage on its wireless network is up 40 per cent, and 1-800 toll-free calls are up more than 300 per cent.

The Toronto-based company said its customers are making more than 50 million wireless voice calls per day while use of toll-free lines has augmented to access federal support programs.

Dean Prevost, president of Rogers for Business, said its technicians “are frontline heroes.”

He said they’ve supported health-care providers by deploying temporary cell sites on wheels, increased capacity to hospitals, run fibre in parking lots and fields and extended fixed wireless to create new COVID-19 testing centres. They have also provided more Wi-Fi for hospitals, seniors homes and homeless shelters.

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Rogers said it has helped customers by lifting usage caps for home internet plans, eliminating overage charges, waiving Canadian long-distance calling fees for homes and small businesses,

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